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Interviewed by Nick Axelrod
November 8, 2018

The makeup artist, Creative Director, and YouTuber on her boss (her skin), finding pleasure in a detox, and designing your dream bathroom around your ritual.

violette
PHOTO CREDIT: VIOLETTE

Nécessaire: What do you love to do?

Violette: I’m a real grandma on the inside. My favorite thing to do is to go to the farmer’s market, cook, read a book, do gardening, listen to classical music.

What do you do for a living?

I’m a makeup artist, a creative director, a YouTuber, and I’m also Estée Lauder’s Global Beauty Director. And I just designed a solid perfume with In Fiore that comes out in November.

How do you practice self-care on a daily basis?

My skincare routine is the moment I take for myself. I know, it’s not like I am meditating, but I look at my whole morning as a momentshower, skincare, makeup, getting dressed, and the same thing at nightshower, getting undressed, and cleaning my face. I experience it as a ritual. It’s not just a physical mission; it’s more than that.

When I take my shower, I put music on. I love bossa nova because it puts me in a very good mood, so I installed a stereo system in my bathroom. I know it sounds fancy, but it makes me feel great. I have windows in the bathroom, too, so the daylight comes in, the music is playing… It’s a moment!

I would say to any woman: When you are getting ready, don’t make it a ‘To Do’ list type of thing. Try to make it a moment where you cherish and celebrate yourself.

Describe how you take care of your body.

First, I dry brush. I use a copper dry brush every morning. Then I take a shower. I try to do a minute of cold water on my legs and upper thighs before I get out of the shower. It helps to activate the lymphatic system and blood circulation. It gives me energy. You can also do cold water under your armpits, but for me it’s too cold and I can’t do that in the morning.

Body lotion is super important, as well. I use it because I want to have very soft skin, but also the gesture of applying lotion on the body is very good for you; I try to really massage my body when I do it.

What is your dream "me time" scenario?

A sick hotel room with a sick bathroom. I don’t have to do anything, I just call in a nice dinner and a glass of red wine from Burgundy, a Côte-Rôtie. I run a bath and have my glass of wine. I don’t have to cook or clean or anything. It’s the best.

What is your real-life "me time" scenario?

I’ll do the same ceremony, but in my place. When [my partner, photographer Steven Pan and I] designed our place, we completely renovated it, and when we designed my bathroom I was imagining this exact ritual. That’s why I have my bathtub next to the window. I was envisioning myself staring at the snow through the windows, having my glass of wine, listening to music in my bath.

What is the best life hack you've discovered?

The app InstaCart. I use it every week. It’s for lazy people like me, who don’t like to go to the drugstore or the grocery store. If I’m at work, and I don’t have anything for dinner or need Q-Tips from the drugstore, I log onto the app and order whatever I want. You select a delivery window, and that’s it. It shows up at your door. It’s so convenient.

What is your biggest weekly indulgence?

The thing is, I’m really into pleasure. So If I am on a detox, or on a diet, it has to be something I’m happy to do. Or I try to trick myself into thinking it’s something I am excited to do. I’m really bad with making rules for myself.

What is your biggest weekly sacrifice?

I catch up on my expenses once a week, for my accountant. I set aside time to do my paperwork.

What does 'balance' look like for you? How do you find balance?

When I was working a lot in fashion and traveling all the time, and I started to date Steven who also works in the industry as a fashion photographer, my fear was that we would be stuck in this life together, talking about fashion and going out to events, working, and just staying within the industry. I told him early on, “You know, my work life is 50%, and my personal life is 50%. It’s very important for me.”

We both work in a world in which we are so lucky to travel all the time, meet the most incredible people. We are very, very spoiled. But it can also be very superficial. So to be at home and do simple things like cooking, gardening, doing things around the house. These are the things that keep me grounded.

Another rule I have: I never accept jobs on the weekends. I’m really rigid; I don’t work on Saturdays and Sundays. I’ve been doing it for 10 years already.

What is absolutely necessary to you?

An amazing mattress. I bought a Sleep EZ organic latex mattress a few months ago, and it’s out of this world. It was recommended to me by a digital tech who Steven works with. He is an incredible nerd for recommendations—if you want to buy the best coffee machine, the best car, the best TV, the best mattress, you ask him. He knows. This mattress is incredible.

A good sleep and a good breakfast are the two things that are key for me to be OK in my life. If I don’t have a good sleep and a good breakfast, it screws up my day so badly.

Best self-care tip:

Pay attention to your food. People always ask me, “Why are women in France so thin?” We eat at home, we cook. We are very mindful of the ingredients we buy. We eat clean. Yes, we love cheese and bread, but we eat a lot of vegetables that are high-quality. And we don’t over-dress our food.

Best nutrition tip:

Your liver is the most amazing organ; you have to treat your liver like it’s king. I try to eat alkaline with less acidic foods to help my liver to relax and not struggle. From research I have done online, the liver is the organ that’s going to help make your skin clear, your complexion coloring to look healthy, the whites of your eyes to be bright. It’s a beautiful organ. I always try to be mindful of this.

Best fitness tip:

I’m obsessed with New York Pilates classes where they use Reformer machines. You are basically laying down while you work out, which is amazing. I actually bought a Reformer for my house, that’s how obsessed I am.

Pilates is amazing because it works your muscles in a very deep way and makes your muscles long and elegant.

Best beauty tip:

Your skin is the boss. I ask my skin all the time, “How do you feel this morning? What do you want? What do you need?” And I do whatever my skin needs. I really spoil my skin, because if my skin is good, I can throw any makeup on and it’s going to feel so much better.

Find Violette on Instagram @violette_fr.

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